A stressful environment is omnipresent, especially if you’re a working professional. With every passing day, there are discoveries made about the psychological factors that dictate stress. A new study that was conducted in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia said that targeting a specific receptor protein in the brain can be effective in treating stress.
In the initial stages, the researchers had used forced swim tests on rats to see how vulnerable they were to stress. They focused on sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 3 (S1PR3), a lipid molecule found on cell membranes. While scientists are aware of its role in inflammation and other body functions, there was little clarity on its involvement in brain.
This experiment found that rats with higher levels of S1PR3 were more resilient than the ones who were vulnerable. The research team thus concluded that an increase in the protein level in the brain can make organisms more resilient to stress, while decreasing it would make them more vulnerable to stress.
However, since rats and humans are different, the team next visited the Veteran's Affairs hospital. They took samples of blood of people who had been in combat to check the level of S1PR3 present.
So this particular discovery seems to be very helpful, because it can help in determining an effective way to combat work stress. As this protein is a valid biomarker, it’ll help in evaluating potential stress treatments.
To conclude, while stress is often looked at subjectively, some quantification helps in figuring out new treatments. So incorporating S1PR3 screenings is a good way to help both employees and employers alike, for the benefit of the organisation.
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